NJ man arrested for torching mayoral candidate’s bus

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Michael Benkowski

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — An arrest has been made in connection with the torching of a campaign bus belonging to a Newark mayoral candidate.

The Essex County prosecutor’s office says Michael Benkowski was arrested Friday.

He is faces charges of arson, criminal mischief and burglary for allegedly setting fire Feb. 16 to Newark mayoral candidate Ras Baraka’s campaign bus.

The 43-year-old was taken into custody in an apartment on Broad Street in Newark. It’s not immediately clear if he has retained a lawyer.

Investigators say they traced a van used in the arson to a person who is paid to work for the campaign of Baraka’s opponent, Shavar Jeffries. That worker has not been charged.

Jeffries issued a statement calling the behavior unacceptable and saying anyone involved in the arson must be prosecuted.

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